After not getting permission for shooting in Mumbai, a home town of Hindi film industry, and at other banned areas due to the pandemic, the producers have now shifted their focus to Nashik and its surroundings to identify proper locations for film shooting.
The producers of two Marathi movies and a Hindi web series have sought permission from the district administration to shoot at different locations in the district. Before this, some filmmakers had inspected Igatpuri taluka and Gangapur dam area for film shooting.
The Corona crisis has cost the film industry in billions in the past three months as shootings of films and serials have been shut down. Many ground level employees associated with the 'reel life' have become unemployed and are also facing starvation.
Film makers mainly prefer locations in Mumbai due to well-equipped sets, infrastructure, easy availability of technicians and supportive staff. However, as the shooting has been banned in the containment zones and at locations disallowing overcrowding adhering to social distancing guidelines, amid such restrictions, the film making has not yet gained momentum. In such a situation, the location of Nashik is attracting the film makers.
As the artists have also agreed to shoot in Nashik district, which is close to Mumbai film industry, preference is being given to Nashik for shooting.
Due to Nashik's historic, religious and tourism significance and its proximity to Mumbai, the process to allow shooting in the city was started earlier since the beginning of the lockdown as there were many difficulties and stringent restrictions being faced by the producers to conduct film shooting in Mumbai.
Now the producers are eager to come to Nashik following the lockdown relaxation. The producers of two Marathi films and a Hindi webseries have sought permission from the district administration to shoot the films, which will start very soon at different locations in the district barring the containment zones.
Now, the present situation has opened up new avenues for Nashik and its tourism sector to develop neglected locations as first choice of the film producers. Many Hindi and Marathi films have been shooted in Nashik earlier and engulfed the big screen.
Meanwhile, shooting of films, television serials and digital series have been allowed in non-containment zones in Maharashtra with certain conditions, as per an order issued by the state government. Issuing a Government Resolution (GR), the Cultural Affairs Ministry has said that producers will have to conduct pre-production and post-production works by adhering to the guidelines laid down by the government.
The order stated that social distancing norms will have to be followed strictly with focus on personal hygiene.
"Crowd cannot be allowed to be gathered while shooting is on. Norms have to be adhered to while using air conditioning system (on sets). Precautions need to be taken while transporting shooting equipment, artists and technicians," the GR said.